I'm trying so hard to embrace rising before the sun, given that I have a child who has always been an early riser. If I want some time to center myself before a full day, I have no choice but to drag myself out of bed when Jay's alarm goes off just before 6AM. I've always wished so hard that I could be an early bird, someone who thrives in the earliest part of each day, who doesn't want to lash out irrationally before coffee, checking my phone, nibbling a bagel.
But I'm learning that if it's worth it to you, sometimes you have to force the liking. And for me, it is worth it. I rarely regret waking up early. I even do this weird reverse-psychology thing with myself the night before, getting myself all pumped up about the morning (which always arrives much too soon). How awesome! You get to have at least 30 minutes before Eisley wakes up to do whatever you want! Sky's the limit, self! It's like you're adding extra hours to the day! Victory is mine!
On the ideal day, I'll wake up a little before Jay's alarm, so I have time to gather my thoughts and start going through my list of things-to-do. Before launching into mommy-mode, I'll be able to enjoy the quiet of the morning. Open the blinds to cool the house before the inevitably hot afternoon arrives, savor each perfectly-clean room (hastily tidied the night before) as I walk towards the kitchen, make a perfect cup of coffee, turn on the computer to answer an email or two, take a peek at my planner. Above all, this is the best time I've found for me to do my journaling and devotions, and I can always, always feel a difference in my overall attitude and outlook for the day when I do them during the first part of the day.
Granted, this ideal morning doesn't always happen. It doesn't even happen the majority of the time, at this point. Just this morning, Eisley woke up right after Jay and I. (Room sharing isn't the best when an alarm must be set for 5:50AM!) But I've finally started working towards creating the habit of waking up early, which means I now look forward to doing these little extra things. Which means I've almost stopped resenting early mornings altogether.
Inevitably, whether I'm up before or after my daughter wakes up, the morning begins, calling me to action.
Mommy, I'm ready for my cereal! Can you set out the options on the table? Mommy, can I have toast with peanut butter and honey? Put on a show, please! So, where are we going today? I'd like my hair in two braids. No, one braid. No, two. No, just a ponytail. A PONYTAIL BRAID!
I rather like her little voice chirping at me first thing after she wakes up. She's (almost) always so full of energy and sunshine. Although peace and quiet are but distant memories, there is a certain charm to this stage of motherhood. When she's a brooding teenager, I know I'll want nothing more than to rewind and relive these mornings.
And who knows? Along the way, maybe I will become an early bird. Weirder things have happened. I just have to keep remembering how much more peaceful and patient I am when I give myself the gift of a little time to myself. It's always worth it. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
— Further reading: My thoughts on mornings from 2011 and 2012.